US justice indicts Chinese hackers for data theft of 78 million people

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The American justice is indicting several Chinese in the context of hacks that took place in 2014 and 2015, targeting health insurer Anthem and three other companies in the US. In the digital burglaries, the perpetrators stole the personal data of more than 78 million people.

The hackers allegedly penetrated the companies with spearphishing e-mails. The emails contained a link to malware that installed a backdoor, after which the hackers had free rein. That’s how one of the accused was identified: he had two domain names in his name associated with email accounts and backdoors used in the hacks.

Health insurer Anthem is mentioned by name, but the other three companies are not. The defendants are also partly anonymous: the 32-year-old Chinese Fujie Wang is mentioned, but the other members remain unknown. It is also not known how many people will be charged in total. However, charges against the group do not mean they are in the hands of the authorities. Fujie Wang is wanted by the FBI and according to their information he resides in Shenzhen, China.

The hackers managed to obtain names, patient numbers, dates of birth, social security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, resumes and income data from Anthem. The assistant prosecutor involved calls the hacks “daring” and “one of the worst data breaches in history”.

Incidentally, Anthem himself also had to plead guilty in this case. Last year it was announced that the health insurer had to pay a fine of $ 16 million to the American health care authority for insufficient digital security.

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